Meet Our Donors

Dave Mazzetti

The Perfect Opportunity
Dave Mazzetti '10 remembers vividly his first day attending SUNY Empire State College. It was the day after his 40th birthday. At 40 years and one day old, he drove to take his first history class. More

Rachel Thibodeaux

Giving to Empire State College Was an Easy Choice
A few months before completing her bachelor’s degree, Rachel Thibodeaux ’96 presented herself for jury duty. The judge asked the group to share where they lived and their level of education. “I’m expecting my bachelor’s degree in May,” she responded. The judge then asked what she plans to do with her degree. “Frame it,” she said. More

Jack and Susan Turben

The Ripple Effect
Susan '72 and Jack Turben have mastered the art of creating ripple effects. The impact of their philanthropy is similar to the ripples expanding across a pond when a pebble is dropped into it. Their generosity purposely transcends a single beneficiary and reaches beyond to greater communities — changing the lives of many. More

Emma Gomez

"Everybody Needs Somebody."
As a child, Emma Gomez was always an A student and proud of it. Her mother, who never had the opportunity to attend school herself, would help her and her nine siblings with their homework while her father worked on the farm. Despite her high marks, continuing her education was the farthest thing from her mind when she left Puerto Rico for Brooklyn at 19 years old. More

Anne Sonne

Supporting Avenues for Professional Advancement
When Anne Sonne ’89 began her degree at SUNY Empire State College, she was already permanently certified as an educator in Pennsylvania where she taught junior high school French for many years. After Anne and her family relocated to New York, she needed a master’s degree to obtain her New York State teacher certification. Empire State College provided the accessibility and flexibility to make that happen. More

Gareth Williams

Alumnus Learns Anything Can Be Accomplished
Gareth Williams '07 had always been interested in philosophy, but growing up in the United Kingdom, he did not see much opportunity for going back to school later in life. That is, until he moved to New York for a professional opportunity and a friend told him about SUNY Empire State College.  More

Dr. Hugh Hammett

Building a Legacy That Reflects Personal Values
Dr. Hugh Hammett is known to many alumni, faculty and staff through the various positions he has held during his impressive tenure with Empire State College. But what many may not know about Hugh is just how deeply his passion for the college runs.  More

Sandra DuBois

"My Degree Made Such a Difference in My Life"
Sandra DuBois '78 always believed in the importance of education, but her schedule as a single parent left little time for going back to school. That is until she found SUNY Empire State College at what she calls the right time in her life.  More

Chuck Trudel

Carving a Legacy
In his hands, a slab of bass wood reveals the detailed expression of an American Indian, the graceful arc of a rabbit in midair or the smooth turn of an abstract wood sculpture. Chuck Trudel is an artist with talent for painting, drawing and especially his favorite medium-carving wood.  More

Pam Kone

The Long Road to a Degree Leads to a Gift to Help Future Students
Pam Kone '91 set out twice to earn her bachelor's degree, but it just didn't work. Her schedules as a full-time student, parent and professional regularly conflicted. Then she enrolled at Empire State College.  More

Jim Matte

Uncovering New Opportunities Thanks to SUNY Empire State College
If you ask Jim Matte why he chose his career path, he'll tell you, "to protect the innocent who are falsely accused." The impetus for his career choice derived from his life experiences, particularly his service in the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations and in the United States Army Criminal Investigations Division Command (CID).  More

Kate Pepin

A Legacy of Education for Her Children and Empire State College
Kate Pepin is passionate about parenting and education.  More

Debbie Oberhofer

Earning Her Degree With Courage and Hope
When she decided to return to college, Debbie Oberhofer began a journey of challenge, tragedy and triumph.  More

Sidney J. Gluck

A Love of Learning...A Full Life
To understand Sidney J. Gluck's success in multiple careers is to realize that he possesses a keen, curious mind.  More

Dr. Dennis De Long

An Educated Mind; A Generous Heart
For Dr. Dennis De Long, former dean and director of graduate studies, his 18-year experience at Empire State College is a tie that binds.  More

Dr. Dennis De Long

A Caring Alumna Creates an Incentive for Working Moms
Years before she even considered joining the Boyer Society, Karen West '84, '95 was working at SUNY Fredonia when Dr. Ernest L. Boyer Sr., former chancellor of the State University of New York, was the invited speaker for the 1989 commencement ceremonies.  More

Judy and Jack Willis

Cherishing Each Other and Empire State College
Visitors to the Willis home are greeted by Lulu, an elegant feline with Himalayan and Siamese bloodlines.  More

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Empire State College a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Empire State College Foundation, Inc [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the College or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the College as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the College as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the College where you agree to make a gift to the College and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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